Arizona is home to over half a million veterans, and the state offers numerous benefits and programs to honor and support these individuals who have served our country. From education and employment opportunities to healthcare and financial assistance, Arizona provides a wide range of services for its veterans. This comprehensive guide will outline the various benefits available to veterans in Arizona, helping them and their families access the resources they need. Here are the veteran benefits in Arizona:
Arizona State Approving Agency (SAA) Approved Programs
The Arizona SAA approved educational institutions and training programs for veterans and their dependents to utilize their GI Bill® benefits. These programs include degree-seeking programs at colleges and universities, vocational and technical training, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training. Veterans can search for approved programs on the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services (ADVS) website or the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) WEAMS Institution Search tool.
Arizona Veteran Education & Training Entitlement Program (VETEP)
VETEP is a state-funded program that provides tuition assistance to eligible Arizona veterans attending an Arizona community college or public university. To qualify, veterans must have exhausted their federal GI Bill® benefits and meet specific residency requirements. The maximum award amount is based on the cost of tuition for 12 credit hours per semester.
In-State Tuition for Veterans and Dependents
Arizona public colleges and universities offer in-state tuition rates to all eligible veterans and their dependents, regardless of their state of residency. To qualify, veterans must have been honorably discharged and provide proof of service. Dependents must be using transferred GI Bill® benefits from an eligible veteran.
Employment & Business Benefits
Veterans Employment Services
The ADVS offers employment services for veterans, including job search assistance, resume development, interview coaching, and referrals to supportive services. Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists are available at One-Stop Career Centers throughout the state to assist veterans in finding suitable employment.
Veterans Preference in State Employment
Arizona grants preference to eligible veterans, their spouses, and surviving spouses in state employment. To qualify, veterans must have been honorably discharged and meet specific service requirements. Spouses of totally disabled veterans and surviving spouses of deceased veterans may also be eligible for preference.
Arizona Small Business Development Center (AZSBDC)
The AZSBDC offers resources and support for veteran-owned small businesses, including business planning, marketing, financial management, and access to capital. The AZSBDC also provides information on federal and state contracting opportunities for veteran-owned businesses.
Arizona State Veteran Home
Arizona operates two State Veteran Homes in Phoenix and Tucson, providing long-term skilled nursing care for eligible veterans. These facilities offer a range of services, including medical care, rehabilitation, and recreational activities. To be eligible, veterans must have an honorable discharge and require skilled nursing care.
Property Tax Exemptions
Arizona provides property tax exemptions for disabled veterans and their surviving spouses. To qualify, veterans must have a service-connected disability rating of 100% from the VA and be Arizona residents. The exemption amount varies based on the total assessed value of the property.
Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services (ADVS) Healthcare Coordination
The ADVS assists veterans in navigating the healthcare system, including helping them understand their VA healthcare benefits, connecting them with appropriate healthcare providers, and assisting with enrollment in VA healthcare programs.
VA Medical Centers and Clinics
Arizona has several VA medical centers and clinics throughout the state, providing comprehensive healthcare services to eligible veterans. Services include primary care, mental health care, specialty care, and more. Veterans can find the nearest VA facility using the VA’s online locator tool.
Financial Assistance Benefits
Arizona Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF)
The MFRF provides financial aid to Arizona service members, veterans, and their families who are experiencing financial hardships due to deployment or military service. The fund offers emergency financial assistance for needs such as housing, utilities, transportation, medical expenses, and other essential living expenses.
VA Disability Compensation
Veterans with disabilities resulting from their military service may be eligible for VA disability compensation. This tax-free benefit is paid monthly and is based on the severity of the disability. The VA determines eligibility and disability ratings.
Additional Benefits and Services
Arizona Veterans License Plates
Arizona offers several specialty license plates for veterans, including plates for specific branches of service, military awards, and campaigns. A portion of the fees collected for these plates supports veterans’ programs in Arizona.
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Arizona offers discounted hunting and fishing licenses for resident disabled veterans. To qualify, veterans must have a service-connected disability rating of at least 30% from the VA.
Arizona State Parks Military and Veteran Discount
Arizona offers a 50% discount on day-use park entrance fees for active-duty military personnel and Arizona resident veterans. To receive the discount, individuals must present a valid military or veteran ID.
Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemeteries
There are three Arizona veteran cemeteries in Marana, Camp Navajo, and Sierra Vista. These cemeteries provide a dignified final resting place for eligible veterans, their spouses, and dependent children. Burial benefits include a gravesite, headstone or marker, burial flag, and perpetual care.
Arizona is committed to providing comprehensive support and resources for its veterans and their families. By taking advantage of these benefits, veterans in Arizona can access education, employment, healthcare, and financial assistance to help them transition to civilian life and thrive in their communities. If you’re an Arizona veteran or family member, it’s essential to explore these benefits and connect with the appropriate organizations and agencies to ensure you’re receiving the support you’ve earned.